Sunday 17 January 2016

Reading Challenges for 2016

So in my end of year review, I said I would be doing fewer reading challenges this year. That is still true, but it turns out, that when you get hooked on reading challenges, it's very hard to cut down as new and exciting ones are announced. I will not be doing the insane amount I did last year, because frankly, it was exhausting and while I like to make lists, I don't exactly want to feel like everything I read has to be able to tick off some box or other.

I do a lot of reading, because it's how I relax and I plan to complete at least a double Cannonball by the end of the year - helping to fund cancer research through my blogging seems even more important now with the horrible start to 2016, with cancer killing great men like Lemmy, David Bowie and Alan Rickman. My godfather is currently also fighting the disease, and sadly it doesn't look good. So I will read, and I will blog and try to promote the Cannonball Read website so we get a lot of hits. A lot of the challenges I will be doing, will just be getting credit for reading books I was already going to read. My current TBR on Goodreads is getting ridiculous and even having gotten rid of over 200 books last year, I have years worth of books to read, either in paper or e-book form. Of course, there is just no conceivable way that I will stop buying books or hoping I'll get them as presents. So the list will keep growing. To that end, I've promised myself that I have to read more books I actually own personally, not just books I've added to the TBR and am planning to borrow.

Last year, I made separate sign-up posts for every challenge. That took forever. It's going to take long enough to link all the different ones in this post, but that's the way I'm doing it. Hope I don't offend any of the hosts of the various challenges by doing it this way.

1. Obviously the Cannonball Read. I managed a triple Cannonball, 156 books read and reviewed in 2015, but that was partially because I broke my arm badly and was off work for about six weeks at the end of the year. I doubt I will have the time or energy for that many, but hope to complete a double, 104, at least. 

2. You Read How Many Books? hosted by the Crafty Engineer. The minimum level is a 100, and since I read way more than that last year, I'm trying for level 2, 150 books.

3. Alphabet Soup 2016, hosted by Dollycas. This is my third year doing this challenge, which basically means I have to read 26 books, each starting with one letter of the alphabet (A, and and the can be removed). Only Q, X and Z are slightly different. They can be anywhere in the title.

4. Colour Coded Reading Challenge 2016, hosted by My Reader's Block. Since this challenge opened to let you read books where the colour in question was the dominant colour on the cover, not just had to be featured in some way in the name of the book, this has become one of my favourite challenges. I just had to repeat it. The colours in question are black, white, red, blue, yellow, green and brown. There are also categories for any other colour and "suggests colour".

5. The 2016 TBR Pile Reading Challenge, hosted by Bookish Lifestyle helped motivate me to read a staggering 90 books on my TBR list last year, so I need to sign up for it again. Their highest level is Married with Children, at 50+ books, so that's the one I'm doing again this year.

6. The Bring Your Own Books Challenge, or B.Y.O.B, is hosted by Literary Distractions. It's a new one for me this year, but ties into the reading what I own goal. Having checked my To Read shelf in LibraryThing, it seems I have at least (because I sometimes forget to tag books correctly) 368 books on my shelves, either real dead tree books or e-books, that I haven't read. I should do something about that. There aren't any levels for this one, but I've set myself the personal goal that I have to read at least 3-4 books a month that I owned before the start of 2016.

7. The 2016 Monthly Key Word Challenge, hosted by My Soul Called Life, is fairly simple. There is a list of key words posted for every month of the year. The goal is to read at least one book every month that fits with one of the key words. Creativity in interpreting the key words is encouraged.

8. What an Animal IX Challenge, hosted by Socrates' Book Reviews is also one I've enjoyed for several years and which doesn't really require me to change my reading habits, just keep track of what I already read. Any book with an animal in the title, on the cover, featuring an animal in a prominent role or with a character who is or turns into an animal (vampires and other supernatural creatures also count) is eligible and that means I can easily complete level 4 - 21 or more books.

9. Finishing the Series 2016 is now hosted by Bea's Book Nook and is another one of those challenges where I basically get credit for doing what I should be doing anyway. I start a lot of series, and then forget about them. This challenge tries to encourage you to pick them back up, reading as many books as required until you get to the last book currently published in the series. Having completed 23 last year, I'm signing up for level 4 - 7 or more series.

10. I suspect the 2016 Women Challenge, hosted by Peek a Book is actually aimed at someone who doesn't primarily read books by female authors. This is another challenge I'm going back to, because it doesn't actually require any effort on my part, and sometimes it's nice to just take the easy credit. I've signed up for the highest possible level - Wonder Woman - to read 20+ books by female authors. To give myself at least a teeny tiny bit of a challenge, I won't allow myself to count any author more than once, even if I read multiple books by them.

11. The 2016 New Author Challenge, hosted by Literary Escapism, is now in its eight year, and encourages readers to discover new authors, either debut ones, or established writers you just haven't tried anything by before. I doubt I'll be able to reach the highest level of 50, so I'm signing up to read stuff by at least 25 new authors in 2016.

12. The 2016 New to You Challenge, hosted by The Herd Presents, allows for some crossover with the previous challenge mentioned, as anything new to me - be it an author, a series, a genre all count. I'm signing up for level 4 "Going for a Swim" with this one, at least 50 new things over the course of the year.

13. The 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, once again hosted by Passages to the Past, is one of the ones I seem to be able to complete without actually challenging myself much, because I read a whole lot of historical novels. Last year, it took me most of the year to finish the highest level, "Prehistoric", with 50+ books, but that doesn't mean that I should aim for lower this year. I like historical novels of all kinds, I will aim high once more.

14. The Pick Your Genre Challenge, also hosted by The Herd Presents, allows the reader to pretty much design their own reading challenge. As I'm not really doing a romance specific challenge this year, I've decided that my genre of choice will be just that - romance.

15. The 2016 Diverse Reads Challenge, hosted by Chasing Faerietales, doesn't have any set reading levels. They just want you to read diverse books, with main characters including but not limited to LGBTQIA, persons of colour, gender diversity, people with disability (including physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual or developmental; chronic conditions, mental illnesses and addiction) and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities. This is something I need to be better at, so I'm going to try to read at least 30 books that fit these criteria in 2016.

16. What's in a Name 2016, hosted by The Worm Hole is a fairly small one, requiring only that I read six books. It was a fun one last year, and I decided to repeat it after seeing the categories. I need to read a book featuring: the name of a country, an item of clothing, an item of furniture, a profession, a month of the year and the word "tree" in the title.

17. The 2016 Literary Pickers Challenge, hosted by Delighted Reader is a new one for me this year, a literary scavenger hunt. There's a list of 100 different items to be found in romances (or books with a strong romance element) and I thought it looked like fun. I'm signing up for level 2, "Garage Sale Guru" and will be looking carefully in each of the romantic books I read this year to see what I can cross off the list.

18. I think I qualify as a Reading Challenge Addict and am signing up for "Out of this World", 16+ Reading Challenges entered (and hopefully completed).

I will also try to do the April and October Dewey Read-a-thons and sign up for this year's R.I.P read in September and October, because I love those. It turns out I'm really bad at limiting myself, and that if I don't have a dozen or so challenges to compete in, I'm at a loss as to what I should read next.


  1. Best of luck with your challenges, Malin! (and hope you enjoy What's In A Name!)

  2. I would like to thank you so much for your participation!
    If you are interested in, you could have a look to the 2017 edition! :)

    Bye and enjoy your books!